FC Dallas was unable to take advantage an injury-depleted San Jose Earthquakes squad, settling for a scoreless draw Saturday night at Spartan Stadium.
FC Dallas maintained their two-point lead over the Earthquakes in the Western Conference as the home side was forced to play much of the game without center back Troy Dayak, forward Brian Ching and midfielder Brian Mullan. By taking one point on the road, FC Dallas moved into a first-place tie with the Los Angeles Galaxy, who lost to Real Salt Lake on Saturday night.
FC Dallas suffered an injury blow of their own, as Richard Mulrooney's return to San Jose lasted just 34 minutes as he was forced to leave the match with aright knee injury. Mulrooney crumpled to the turf without making contact with any other players as he attempted to control a ball in midfield.
San Jose's all-time leader in games played, Mulrooney will be re-evaluated upon his return to Dallas. He was replaced by veteran midfielder Oscar Pareja.
Following a sprained left knee to Dayak in the ninth minute, FC Dallas began to assert control of the match. Dayak was injured while fouling forward Eddie Johnson, resulting in a free kick along the left sideline. Mulrooney took the kick, which was partially cleared by the San Jose defense, but only as far as Ronnie O'Brien, who scorched a full volley that was deflected just wide of the post by Ching.
Dallas took immediate advantage of the absence of Dayak, causing disarray in the San Jose backline over the next few minutes. However, Dallas was unable to capitalize on its territorial superiority, as the Earthquakes were able to prevent any serious scoring chances.
San Jose was forced into another substitution when Ching injured his ankle in the 39th minute after a back heel pass at the top of the penalty box. He was replaced up front by Alejandro Moreno.
In a half bereft of serious scoring opportunities for either team, Dallas needed an excellent save from goalkeeper Scott Garlick to preserve the 0-0 scoreline late in the first half. Brian Mullan drove a long ball to Moreno, who flicked to Cerritos, but Garlick was able to deflect the left-footed shot with a dive to his left.
Despite playing against a San Jose team that was forced into yet another injury substitution in the 61st minute when Mullan went down with a left ankle injury, FC Dallas was unable to generate much in the way of an attack for most of the second half.
The Quakes came close as they again forced a fine save out of Garlick in the 63rd minute. A free kick was whipped in from the right side where Moreno rose up to head it goalward, but the FCD 'keeper was able to palm it over the bar.
Garlick saved FC Dallas once final time when Russell latched onto a Moreno cross from the left side in the 71st minute, but his header was saved by the diving 'keeper.
MLSnet.com Man of the Match: Scott Garlick (FC Dallas)
Danny Kadah is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.
FC Dallas (3-1-3) vs. San Jose Earthquakes (2-1-4)
May 14, 2005 -- Spartan Stadium
Scoring Summary: NONE
FC Dallas -- Scott Garlick, Bobby Rhine, Clarence Goodson, Greg Vanney, David Wagenfuhr (Drew Moor 76), Richard Mulrooney (Oscar Pareja 34) (Arturo Alvarez 90), Simo Valakari, Carey Talley, Eddie Johnson, Carlos Ruiz, Ronnie O'Brien.
Substitutes Not Used: Jeff Cassar, Roberto Mina.
TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Ronnie O'Brien 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Eddie Johnson 2, Oscar Pareja 2); FOULS: 20 (Ronnie O'Brien 5); OFFSIDES: 1 (Eddie Johnson 1); CORNER KICKS: 3 (Greg Vanney 3); SAVES: 5 (Scott Garlick 5)
San Jose Earthquakes -- Pat Onstad, Ricardo Clark, Troy Dayak (Ryan Cochrane 11), Eddie Robinson, Wade Barrett, Dwayne De Rosario, Danny O'Rourke, Brad Davis, Brian Mullan (Ian Russell 63), Brian Ching (Alejandro Moreno 40), Ronald Cerritos.
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Aloisi, Jon Conway, Tighe Dombrowski, Wes Hart, Julian Nash, Chris Wondolowski.
TOTAL SHOTS: 13 (Ricardo Clark 3, Dwayne De Rosario 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Dwayne De Rosario 2); FOULS: 19 (Brad Davis 4, Danny O'Rourke 4); OFFSIDES: 1 (Ronald Cerritos 1); CORNER KICKS: 6 (Ronald Cerritos 4); SAVES: 6 (Pat Onstad 6)
SJ -- Brian Mullan (caution; Pushing, Holding) 58
DAL -- Oscar Pareja (caution; Diving, Exaggeration) 64
SJ -- Brad Davis (caution; Reckless Foul) 66
DAL -- Ronnie O'Brien (caution; Reckless Foul) 76
Referee: Erich Simmons
Referee's Assistants: -Emiliano Monje; Jose Corro
4th Official: Kevin Stott
Time of Game: 1:51
Weather: Partly Cloudy-and-75-degrees
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial.